Peanut Blossom Cookies

Adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine

Makes about 4 dozen

Any Hershey’s Chocolate Kiss—dark, milk, white, or “Hugs”—works in this recipe. For best results, the cookies should be baked on the middle rack, one baking sheet at a time. This recipe can be cut in half.

– 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

– 1/2 teaspoon table salt

– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

– 1 cup roasted salted peanuts

– 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened

– 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

– 3/4 cup granulated sugar

– 1 cup creamy peanut butter

– 2 large eggs , at room temperature

– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

– 48 Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses, ready-to-use or wrappers removed

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk 1 3/4 cups flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl. Process remaining 1 cup flour and peanuts in food processor until ground, about fifteen 1-second pulses, then stir into flour mixture.

3. Beat butter and sugars together in large bowl with electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add peanut butter and continue to beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, until incorporated, about 30 seconds, then beat in vanilla, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl, if necessary. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in two batches, and mix until incorporated. Cover bowl and refrigerate dough until stiff, about 30 minutes.

4. Roll 1-inch balls of dough and space 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until just set and beginning to crack, 9 to 11 minutes, rotating baking sheet from front to back halfway through baking (while cookies are baking, place additional balls of dough on second baking sheet).

5. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven and firmly press one Kiss in center of each cookie. Return baking sheet to oven and bake until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies directly to wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat rolling and baking remaining cookies. Cool completely. (Cookies will be cool enough to eat after about 30 minutes, but Kisses will take 2 hours to set completely.)

Chewy Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

Note:  The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie dough. For the best results, handle the dough as briefly and gently as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4cups (11 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar , plus 1/3 cup for rolling
  • 2 ouncescream cheese , cut into 8 pieces
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter , melted and still warm
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place 1½ cups sugar and cream cheese in large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms.
  3.  Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each (or use #40 portion scoop). Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons of sugar remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per tray), discarding any remaining sugar.
  4. Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.